Cheltenham tips: Frank Hickey’s best bets for ITV Racing on Sunday

The curtain comes down on the three-day fiesta and top trader Frank Hickey is back in the ring for one final swing.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

13:10 Cheltenham – Haute Estime

This doesn’t look the strongest renewal of the race and Mister Coffey sets the standard having run second in the Kim Muir Chase in his first try over 3m. However, Lucinda Russell was quite bullish about Haute Estime saying she thought she was as good a horse as they have.

She was progressive last season over hurdles and stumbled two fences out when beaten on her first start at Kelso last month. If she’s as good as they think, she should run very well here.

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13:45 Cheltenham – Edwardstone

Nube Negra was a good winner of this race last year but has to concede 3lbs to last year’s Arkle Chase winner Edwardstone now and he might just be a little more reliable. Nube Negra has ability and usually runs well here but despite both of them being eight-years-old, Edwardstone looks open to more improvement or at least to prove more reliable to produce his best form.

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14:05 Fontwell – Full Back

He caught the eye when staying on strongly over 3m at Ascot on his reappearance when finishing fourth in the London Gold Cup Handicap Chase. Our Power, Danny Kirwan and Tea Clipper were ahead of him and that was a stronger race than this. Full Back won at Cheltenham off 135 on New Year’s Day and ran really well at Taunton over 3m4f in the Portman Cup when he had plenty to do at the weights with Yala Enki. He carries top-weight but is only seven, is far from exposed and could outclass these.

14:20 Cheltenham – Back On The Lash

Had a spin over hurdles seven weeks ago and that should leave him spot on for this contest as the traditional Cross-Country race was postponed as the ground was too firm. Back On The Lash won that contest last year off a mark of 138 and shouldn’t mind the switch back to the conventional fences. He’s won over hurdles at Cheltenham also, stays well and will enjoy the decent ground.

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14:55 Cheltenham – A Different Kind

The big betting race of the day is the Greatwood Hurdle and Donald McCain’s A Different Kind looks a player to me. He made a lovely reappearance at Aintree when second to Peking Rose who looked well handicapped going into it. A strongly-run two miles might suit even better. He was a creditable third to North Lodge and Balco Coast in a Grade 2 last season and while he did disappoint at Aintree in a Grade 1 behind Jonbon, he had been off for two months before that.

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15:30 Cheltenham – Springwell Bay

Springwell Bay was a close second in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper in 2021 to Adamantly Chosen and the winner is at least a high 130’s horse. The others that were behind like Merlin Giant (now rated 127) or the fifth, De Capo Glory (likely to be rated in the 130’s) show he’s got talent. He bolted up on stable debut for Jonjo O’Neill at Market Rasen in a bumper in what was one of the better performances by a UK bumper horse last season.

He then won on hurdles debut at Carlisle at 2m1f from a horse that was second at Market Rasen on Thursday when conceding 8lbs. He was deliberate over first few hurdles at a steady pace but could improve plenty for a stronger gallop.

Frank Hickey’s Sunday picks at Cheltenham & Fontwell

13:10 Cheltenham – Haute Estime
13:45 Cheltenham – Edwardstone 
14:05 Fontwell – Full Back
14:20 Cheltenham – Back On The Lash
14:55 Cheltenham – A Different Kind
15:30 Cheltenham – Springwell Bay

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What do you think?